, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 798–805 | Cite as

Artesunate Protects LPS-Induced Acute Lung Injury by Inhibiting TLR4 Expression and Inducing Nrf2 Activation

  • Deli Zhao
  • Jinling Zhang
  • Guangquan Xu
  • Qiushi WangEmail author


Artesunate, a derivative of artemisinin, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory property. However, few studies showed the protective effects of artesunate on lung injury. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of artesunate on LPS-induced lung injury in mice. The mice were treated with artesunate 1 h before or after LPS treatment. The effects of artesunate on lung MPO activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) content were detected. The lung wet/dry radio and the numbers of inflammatory cells in BALF were also measured. ELISA was used to evaluate the levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6 in BALF. Western blot analysis was adapted to detect TLR4 and Nrf2 signaling pathways. The results showed that artesunate protected against LPS-induced ALI by decreasing the numbers of inflammatory cells, lung edema, MPO activity, and MDA content. Furthermore, artesunate significantly inhibited the levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Artesunate also inhibited LPS-induced IL-6 and IL-8 production in the A549 cells. In addition, artesunate dose-dependently suppressed LPS-induced TLR4 expression and NF-κB activation. The expression of Nrf2 and HO-1 were also up-regulated by artesunate. The data suggest that artesunate possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties against LPS-induced ALI via inhibiting TLR4 signaling pathway and activating Nrf2 signaling pathway.


artesunate LPS lung injury Nrf2 HO-1 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deli Zhao
    • 1
  • Jinling Zhang
    • 1
  • Guangquan Xu
    • 2
  • Qiushi Wang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of CTThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Department of Thoracic SurgeryThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinChina

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